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Streamlined delivery of emergency relief programs is a win-win for USDA and agricultural producers

New program outperforms previous disaster program in speed of aid and reduced application burden by nearly 90%, online analysis now available

WASHINGTON, August 4, 2022 – The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has processed over 255,000 new emergency relief Program (ERP) application. To date, USDA has paid about $6.1 billion to commodity and specialty crop producers to help offset eligible losses from eligible natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. By breaking down institutional barriers and leveraging existing USDA data and pre-filled applications, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), in partnership with Risk Management Agency (RMA), is able to quickly provide financial relief and save producers and employees time. million hours of time. The USDA Undersecretary for Agricultural Production said, “The expedient way to develop and execute these emergency relief programs ensures that program benefits are delivered quickly to producers, taxpayer dollars are used responsibly, and Saved time for our customers and USDA staff.” and Protect Robert Bonnie. “Reducing the time we spend collecting information elsewhere in the USDA or through crop insurance means our team has more bandwidth to reach and support new customers. Our simplified, successful ERP implementation is a testament to the creativity of the USDA team , dedication and willingness to break down traditional divides between agencies and address complex information technology challenges to further the common goal of better serving farmers and ranchers.” The design of the first phase of the ERP allowed Speed ​​up processes and save time for employees and producers. The FSA was able to start making payments to producers within days of launching the program, compared with the lengthy application and processing required under the previous program before payments were made. The FSA County office can process nearly nine ERP applications, while it processes one application for the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program – Plus (WHIP+), the predecessor program for Temporary Disaster Assistance. This equates to an 88% reduction in application processing time compared to WHIP+ and over 1 million hours less man-hours to implement ERP. While not specifically tracked, we expect the savings to producers to be at least as significant as their previous heavy burden of collecting records and often sitting across from local staff when entering data. These process improvements also allow producers to focus more on their farming operations by reducing the number of trips producers make to FSA County offices and allowing producers to spend less time filling out forms Enhanced customer experience for farmers. In addition, the ERP program design greatly reduces the potential risk of error and leverages existing RMA and Federal Crop Insurance loss adjustment and verification processes. With more applications approved, more dollars allocated, and more dollars paid per application in less time, the simplified application process developed to deliver ERP significantly outperformed previous WHIP+ implementation. The FSA also paid more than $1 billion to historically underserved producers. Emergency relief to date Efforts to simplify, improve responsiveness and cross traditional agency boundaries are not just recent ERP process. The FSA mailed pre-filled ERP applications to producers of commodities covered by federal crop insurance in late May, and has since paid out eligible producers with more than $6 billion in losses. Last week, pre-filled ERP applications were mailed to producers covered by the Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), and the FSA has so far issued $35.9 million in payments to eligible loss producers. NAP-related ERP payments are also not taken into account and are paid in full from the start to expedite and target small and underserved producers who typically rely on NAP coverage. Additionally, earlier this year, staff processed more than 100,000 payments through the Emergency Livestock Relief Program (ELRP) and paid eligible producers more than $601.3 million in 2021 grazing losses within days of the program’s announcement. ERP data is now available online A new public-facing dashboard on the ERP webpage contains information about ERP payments that can be Sort by crop type (specialty or non-specialty, specific commodity and state). FSA will update the dashboard every Monday. MORE INFORMATION ERP and previously announced ELRP are supported by Expanding Government Funding and Providing Emergency Assistance Act to be signed into law by President Biden in 2021. The bill provides $10 billion to help agricultural producers affected by the pandemic experience wildfires, droughts, hurricanes, winter storms and other eligible disaster events in calendar years 2020 and 2021. For more information on ERP and ELRP eligibility, program provisions for historically underserved producers, and frequently asked questions, producers can visit the FSA’s Emergency Relief webpage. Additional USDA disaster assistance information can be found at, including the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster Overview Fact Sheet (PDF, 1.4 MB), and Farm Loan Discovery Tool. For FSA and Natural Resource Conservation Services programs, producers should contact their local USDA service center. For assistance with crop insurance claims, producers and landowners should contact their crop insurance agent. USDA impacts the lives of all Americans in many positive ways every day. Under the Biden-Harris administration, the USDA is transforming America’s food system, focusing more on more resilient local and regional food production, providing fairer markets for all producers, and ensuring that all communities have access to safety , healthy and nutritious food, building new markets and channels using climate-smart food and forestry practices to increase incomes for farmers and producers, making historic investments in rural America’s infrastructure and clean energy capabilities, and eliminating systemic Barriers and building a more representative American workforce to work towards equity across the sector. To learn more, visit is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.


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